Summary: The fourth part of a winter retreat on giving your whole self to God. Workbook and Powerpoint available.
GIVING IT YOUR ALL
[BROTHER ANDREW STORY]
-I know yesterday we talked about the Word of God and how important it is, but I want to look at the twist in this story. All other stories were people saying what they believe in the face of death. In this story, Brother Andrew was doing things for God in the face of death.
-obviously I don’t want you going out and breaking laws to serve God, but this story differs from all the others because people know this guy is a Christian not by what he says or not for standing up in a crowd and yelling “I love Jesus”, but because of what he did.
-and this leads us to the last part of our verse for the weekend.
**Mark 12:30 -> 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. (NCV)
-Saturday we talked about your heart, how whatever you focus on, whatever your treasure is, that’s where your heart will be, and if we have love, if we have God at the center of our heart, we should be out living it out, we should be showing that love to everyone.
-yesterday morning we focused on the soul, the emotional part of you, your spirit, the part that no one can see and how there are things you can do to love God with your soul. How we can get to know God through our soul but also how we can bless God and live out God’s love through our emotions, sometimes simply by slowing down and calming our soul.
-last night we talked about the mind, how God doesn’t want us to be mindless obedient zombies but to actually use our brain and think a little about what we believe. How we are to love God with how we use our minds, in talking to others and how we think in that little space in our heads only we can see.
-so today we’re talking about strength, our physical bodies. When we get to heaven, our heart, our love will be there, our soul will be there, our mind, our memories, our ability to think will be there, but our bodies, they’re gone. We will have new bodies and we’ll be able to serve in different ways, but this carcass here will be gone.
-because what we do, how are bodies behave is a reflection of what is inside us, so we need to watch and take care of our bodies.
1. IT’S ALL ONE
-when Jesus said our key verse for the weekend, He wasn’t separating ourselves into four distinct pieces, all those pieces are a part of who we are, they are all one, they all work together.
-for thousands of years now we have had a group of people that take different names, different forms of beliefs but they all are lumped into one group called dualists. They believe that anything physical, of this world, is evil, and anything spiritual is good, because it’s of the same essence God is.
-the really bad part about this is these people usually went to one of two extremes. One was beating their bodies for being evil. The other was doing whatever they wanted claiming that it was simply their physical bodies, the evil part of them, but their spirit was still good. You can’t separate the two.
**Ja. 2:26a -> 26The very moment you separate body and spirit, you end up with a corpse. (MSG)
-I think we’ve all seen the truth of this in many Bugs Bunny cartoons, where one of them dies and what do you see, the ghost or spirit of the person hovering in the air.
-there is a strong connection between our body and our spirit. Likewise, there’s also a strong connection between what we say and what we actually do.
**Matt. 21:28-31 -> 28”Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two sons. He went up to the first and said, ‘Son, go out for the day and work in the vineyard.’ 29The son answered, ‘I don’t want to.’ Later on he thought better of it and went. 30The father gave the same command to the second son. He answered, ‘Sure, glad to.’ But he never went. 31Which of the two sons did what the father asked?” They said, “The first.” (MSG)
-our bodies, our thoughts, our spirits, our emotions, our souls, they should all be working together as one, not fighting with each other, not one doing what is right and another doing what is wrong. We have to focus on our bodies and what we actually do just as much as we focus on our spirits and what we believe, how we talk to God, etc.